“I can stand in a room full of dead people and make it exciting.”
Gilbert Arenas told us this once back in Dime #29, when he was plastered on the cover with the headline “Who’s Better Than Me?”
It’s a tired cliché but yet it’s true. Gilbert Arenas isn’t what he once was. Neither are Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Allen Iverson and all the rest of the once 30-point scoring, magazine-covering, teammate-aggravating, crossover-dropping stars the league put through the gauntlet and then filtered back out.
Did you even care that Arenas wasn’t suiting up at the start of this season? Did you even notice? I didn’t. Between Kyle Lowry getting overlooked worse than yogurt on waffles, Kobe Bryant’s turn-back-the-clock, “I’m a scientific dawg” run, and the Portland Trail Blazers, who while they were always decent, were never really all that fun to watch until Nate McMillan allowed gangsta rap at practice, turned up the pace to “Dallas in 2003” levels and went out and scooped up Jamal Crawford, I forgot Gil even existed. I noticed it this morning on another post, 10 teams who need a new point guard. Readers brought it up: “What about Gil?” I never really gave Gil a thought, not even a waning second. I thought about him for about as much time as Jay-Z nearly gave Mobb Deep. Arenas gets half a bar.
When you aren’t really taking media requests, when no one exactly wants you, when the main things you’ve become known for over the past few years are your exceedingly-awkward aloofness, and guns in the locker room, the world moves on without you.